Thursday, February 24, 2005

Bad Timing

If nothing else, the latest "In search of Female Bloggers" shitstorm has given me quite a few more blogs to explore, and add to my blogroll once I get some time. As it is, I'm still trying to finish up a few projects at work before the Fry comes along and I'm increasingly worried he's accelerating the timetable. I've been having some rather unpleasant contractions of the Braxton-Hicks variety for a couple of days now and think he's finally dropped a little. We go see the doc. this afternoon and hopefully she'll tell me I have nothing to worry about.

In any event, not to let imminent labor get in the way of good blogging (and since I won't have more time to linkwhore for awhile), I wanted to share one more thought on the female blogger issue before focusing on life offline, which I posted over at Ezra Klein today.

Everyone equates the TTLB or Technorati rankings as explicit rankings of "importance". Obviously, the more readers you have, the more exposure your ideas will get (and possibly even by folks in the MSM) and the bigger impact you will have on public opinion. So when somebody says "why aren't there more women in the top TTLB rankings", they are in effect saying "why aren't there any women bloggers worth paying attention to?". Because worth is determined by readership, though for some reason... that's supposed to be determined by incoming links and not traffic. Which is funky.

Anyway, I've been doing a little research and there seems to be a BIG problem with TTLB's rankings by traffic stats. I've been looking up the blogs on my own blogroll and notice that while most do appear on the rankings by incoming links (of other ecosystem members, I believe which is inherently self-fulfilling in & of itself), at least half have blanks in their "Average Daily Visit" stats and do not seem to appear, on the rankings by traffic list as a result (inluding my own, which pathetic as my daily traffic rate is I can understand why I wouldn't make the top 5,000. But my measley stats should still be available).

If the traffic stats aren't accurate, then it's ridiculous to rely on TTLB rankings as any indication of actual popularity. For instance - I know Dooce one of the hugely popular "Mommy Blogs" who gets a hell of a lot of mainstream press, is ranked #82 in the ecosystem based on unique incoming daily links . But she is nowhere to be found on the traffic ranking list - because her average daily visits isn't being reported for some reason.

She was kind enough to reply to an email I sent her yesterday and as it turns out, she gets 52,000 unique visitors a day to her site. Which would put her at #10 on the TLB traffic rankings (right below Wonkette) and well above Yglesias if it were being reported correctly. And she says it's the same deal on technorati. She gets twice the unique daily traffic of other blogs that are consistently ranked higher based on links, instead.

I'd really like to know why those stats are coming up blank. Is it due to differences in the code on each website or what? Do you have to subscribe to premium Sitemeter service or something? The answer could give us a big clue here...

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